Clinical rotation

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Clinical rotation is a period of medical education in which medical students, nursing students, physician assistant students, and pharmacy students rotate through different specialties of medicine. It is a critical part of medical training that involves the practical application of medical knowledge.


  • Clinical: /ˈklɪnɪkəl/
  • Rotation: /roʊˈteɪʃən/


The term "clinical rotation" is derived from the practice of students rotating or moving through different medical specialties during their training. "Clinical" comes from the Greek word "klinikos", which means "bed", referring to the treatment of patients. "Rotation" comes from the Latin word "rotatio", meaning "a turning".


During a clinical rotation, students are given the opportunity to apply their medical education in real-world settings. They work under the supervision of experienced physicians and are exposed to a variety of medical conditions and patient populations. This allows them to gain practical experience, develop their clinical skills, and explore different specialties to help inform their career decisions.

Types of Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations can cover a wide range of medical specialties, including but not limited to:


Clinical rotations are a crucial part of medical education. They provide students with the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they have gained in the classroom to real-world clinical situations. This hands-on experience is invaluable in helping students develop the practical skills they will need as practicing physicians.

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